Dame Joan Collins criticises William Shatner over historic space flight

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  • William Shatner
    William Shatner
    Canadian actor

Dame Joan Collins has criticised William Shatner following his historic space flight, describing him as a “fool”.

The 90-year-old actor, famed for his Star Trek role as Captain James T Kirk, lifted off from the Texas desert earlier this month in a rocket built by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ space travel company Blue Origin, becoming the oldest person to travel into space.

Following comments by the Duke of Cambridge, Shatner was forced to defend the trip and said the voyage was a “baby step” to getting “polluting industries … off of Earth”.

Destination Star Trek Europe
William Shatner (Joe Giddens/PA)

Appearing on The Jonathan Ross Show on ITV, Dame Joan, who appeared in an episode of science fiction series Star Trek, described Shatner as a “fool”.

She said: “It’s amazing isn’t it? What a fool. Who wants to do that? No, absolutely not. Did you see Bill Shatner?

“He was in the air and they were turning him upside down. Let’s take care of this planet first before we start going off.”

Asked if he would visit space, fellow show guest and Succession star Brian Cox was also critical.

He said: “No, absolutely not. I think it’s ridiculous. I remember watching (Sir Richard) Branson and Bezos going up for their 11 minutes or whatever…

“No, we do not need more spaceships. We’ve got enough crap flying around up there. We do not need any more.”

Shatner and three other passengers lifted off in the fully automated, 60ft-tall New Shepard rocket from Van Horn, west Texas, and reached an altitude of roughly 350,000ft and a velocity of about 2,000mph.

The Hunter Foundation dinner � An Evening with Sir David Attenborough
Brian Cox (Jane Barlow/PA)

Following the flight, William criticised the space race and burgeoning space tourism industry ahead of his inaugural environment Earthshot Prize awards.

He said: “We need some of the world’s greatest brains and minds fixed on trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live.”

Shatner responded in an interview with Entertainment Today, saying: “He’s a lovely Englishman. He’s going to be king of England one day. He’s a lovely, gentle, educated man, but he’s got the wrong idea.

“The idea here is not to go, ‘Yeah, look at me. I’m in space’. No, I would tell the prince, and I hope the prince gets this message, this is a baby step of getting industry, all those polluting industries…off of Earth.”

Representatives of Shatner have been contacted for comment.

The Jonathan Ross Show airs on Saturday at 9.30pm on ITV and ITV Hub.

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